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City's planning, building departments are operating remotely due to cases of illness, quarantine.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF MILWAUKIE - Located at 6101 S.E. Johnson Creek Road, Milwaukie's building houses the city's planning, building and public works departments.Beginning Jan. 5, Milwaukie officials closed their Johnson Creek Building to the public due to staff shortages resulting from rising COVID-19 cases and other employees self-quarantining after possible exposure to the virus.

A report released Jan. 5 by the Oregon Health Authority showed skyrocketing daily cases and a sharp increase in COVID-related hospitalizations, while the death rate has declined.

On Jan. 3, as of one hour after arrival at work post-vacation, Milwaukie City Manager Ann Ober reported two employees out with COVID and two more quarantining with at-home exposures.

"The COVID wave has started here at the City of Milwaukie," Ober wrote to city councilors. "I expect the next six weeks will lead to a very large number of Milwaukians and staff getting COVID."

Located at 6101 S.E. Johnson Creek Road, the Milwaukie-owned building houses the city's planning, building and public works staff who continue to be available by email or by calling 503-786-7555.

City officials say many services can be completed online at milwaukieoregon.gov. While walk-in service is not available at the Johnson Creek Building, a drop box is available outside of its entrance to drop off construction-application plans and other materials, if needed.

This closure is expected to be in effect until Thursday, Jan. 20. Milwaukie City Council has also canceled its study session originally scheduled for Jan. 11, when the elected officials had planned to travel to Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center in Grand Ronde to discuss the Grand Ronde's connection with Milwaukie, the city's land-acknowledgement statement and public art projects. The trip is expected to be rescheduled in March.


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